Is 2000 Miles for Work with No Car Even Possible?

by Gerry Lynch last modified 06 Mar, 2014 03:48 PM

Bishop Edward to give up his car for Lent - he plans to cover over 2,000 miles by bike and public transport.

Follow Bishop Edward's progress at bishopedward.wordpress.com.

The Bishop of Ramsbury normally drives 1500 miles a month for work - but is giving up his car for the six weeks of Lent!

The Right Revd Dr Edward Condry mainly looks after churches in Wiltshire, and the majority of them are in villages, so public transport is limited and he’ll often be dependent on pedal power.

Bishop Edward will continue to work full-time in a period when he expects to cover well over 2000 miles for work. Some might think it impossible, but Edward is committed to playing his part in tackling climate change and will instead cycle and use public transport.

Bishop Edward said:

“I’m passionately committed to protecting the environment, as I think Christians must take their responsibilities to look after God’s creation very seriously.

“The disastrous storms and floods have put climate change in the forefront of our minds again. The Church of England in the South West has a regional commitment to cutting carbon emissions during Lent 2014. So giving up the car made sense. Making it happen in a rural area involved a lot of planning.

“Buses and trains will take me many places, especially to London and Manchester for meetings. But I will need to do a lot of cycling, as public transport in this rural area doesn’t go everywhere, and it often only runs a few times a day.

“I have had to borrow a specially small episcopal staff from Nicholas Holtam, the Bishop of Salisbury, to strap to my bike as I do my rounds!

“Being a bishop, I travel quite a distance every Sunday morning to take services. This is particularly challenging as public transport is virtually non-existent in rural areas early on Sunday mornings.

“Perhaps the most difficult test will be a 70 mile round trip to Ogbourne St George. Another stiff challenge will be after an evening Lent talk in Broad Chalke. Afterwards, I’ll have a 22 mile ride in the dark, starting at 9 pm, right over Salisbury Plain, to get home to Warminster. There is simply no public transport option at that time of night. Both these rides will be in early March, so there will be a definite possibility of snow!

“I’m a keen cyclist and a member of the Cyclists’ Touring Club, so the pedalling won’t be a  chore. There’s nothing like a good bike ride to get your thoughts straight, and the time on buses and trains will give me plenty of time to think and  pray.

“Right now I’m really looking forward to it, but I imagine there will be cold March days when I’m cycling over the hills into a vicious south-westerly when I’ll wonder whether I’m sane!” 

WHY GIVE UP THE CAR?

  • Climate change threatens livelihoods, human lives and other living creatures. The latest UN Assessment Report on climate change, reflecting the best scientific thinking on the subject, projects a dramatic spread in drought-affected regions, a dramatically escalated threat to human well-being from floods along coasts and in river valleys across the planet, and widespread extinction of vulnerable species due to habitat loss. The poorest countries and people are much more vulnerable to the damaging impacts of climate change.
  • Christians are supposed to observe Lent as a time of discipline and self-denial. So much of our daily lives – shopping, recreation, visiting friends – has become car-dependent. Lent recalls the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness before starting his public ministry. We only appreciate so many of the good things in our lives when we have to do without them.
  • The Church of England has publicly committed itself to tackling climate change at its February 2014 General Synod meeting. Scripture calls on Christians to find joy in creation, to work for justice, and to recognise the Earth and its resources are ultimately owned by God and shared with us to use responsibly.

 

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